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According to our research, Fulton County has the highest rates of unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs among adolescents in Georgia.
Sexual health education is a key component of overall health education; therefore, it must be discussed, especially for teens who are just growing into their bodies and discovering new things about themselves. When we first came together in February 2017, we discussed the possibility of researching a multitude of topics besides sexual health, such as obesity, healthy food availability, mental health, etc.
"Gracie" then sends messages about the risks and consequences of their actions, including trauma and therapy resources to aid them in taking the first step in receiving help.
The technology has the power to intercept thousands of messages each day.
EDITOR'S NOTE: As Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta approaches, more attention is being focused on the issue of child sex trafficking.
Patch is committed to covering this international plague with a focus on local efforts to combat the crime.
The program was developed in a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Kennesaw State University and advertising agency BBDO.
"Gracie is cutting edge," said Bob Rodgers, Street Grace's president and CEO.
In 2018, Street Grace reached over 12,000 Georgians through awareness events surrounding commercial exploitation of children.
The problem of child sex trafficking is gaining more attention in Atlanta with the approach of Super Bowl LIII on Feb. But Rodgers points out the game alone isn't solely responsible for the crime.
"The Super Bowl doesn't cause sex trafficking," Rodgers said.
In Georgia, especially Fulton County, the quality of sexual health education is severely lacking.
The Atlanta Youth Research Coalition (AYRC) — a group of 12 teens from metro Atlanta working with public health leaders at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health — conducted research last spring and found that systemic sexual health education — sex ed — improvements are needed for metro-Atlanta teens.